Midnight is the darkest moment of the day everywhere in the world. But it is also the most hopeful, because everything that comes after holds the promise of light. America has a genius for reinvention, and we must use it. From the same forces of bigotry that divided and nearly defeated us in the Civil War, yes, but from something new to the American landscape as well: a dangerous experimentation with a uniquely American brand of authoritarianism.
Sensing our confusion, the officer continued: "Be prepared to don your mask in the event the room is breached." He told us that tear gas was being deployed, so we should get them ready. I pulled a rectangular canvas pouch from under my seat and unzipped it. These hoods didn't resemble the gas masks you see police wearing during a riot; instead, they were a large polyethylene bag that you pulled over your head, with a small motor attached to circulate and filter the air. As you removed the hood from its packaging, the motor began running, and suddenly there was a din of dozens of these hoods buzzing, which only added to the growing sense of alarm.
"You can't let them see you," a Republican member said to me. "He's right," another Republican member said. "I know these people, I can talk to them, I can talk my way through them. You're in a whole different category." In that moment, we were not merely members of different political parties, but on opposite sides of a much more dangerous divide. At first I was oddly touched by these GOP members and their evident concern. But by then, I had been receiving death threats for years, and that feeling soon gave way to another: If these Republican members hadn't joined the president in falsely attacking me for 4 years, I wouldn't need to be worried about my security, none of us would. I kept that thought to myself.
The above quotations are from January 6, 2021 riot at United States Capitol and follow-up investigations.
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